Thursday, November 10, 2011

The One Where I Prove I Know Which Cry is My Child's Cry

James is slowly outgrowing his infant car seat.  He's still within safety range, so no worries yet for car rides.

But walks in the stroller have become...interesting.

For a while now, when he has gotten tired of laying against someone or even being propped up against a pillow, he begins to use his elbows and abdominal muscles to force himself upright.

No, he can't sit on his own completely.  But when you are walking someone, and they are attempting to get out of the safety harness, it can become a little interesting to steer.

We'd been talking about stopping the usage of the carrier in the stroller.  This would mean he'd be sitting in a normal seat, facing out into the world, and getting to enjoy the view.  It was put on our "to try" list with him, and that was that.

His great-grandparents had begun coming by one or twice a week to take him for walks.  I mentioned our thoughts on wanting to get him converted to a regular sitting position in the stroller, and they had agreed it might be about time.

So, as a reference, the carrier sits on the stroller, using a removable bar that is spring loaded as a support rod.  It pretty much clamps onto that so it doesn't fall, and when it becomes time to stop using the carrier you just pop out the bar and continue on with life. 

You also should know that this stroller is a newer one, and so it doesn't use normal latches and stuff to move the seat position from sitting to leaning to laying down.  There is actually a cord, kinda like the ones around the waste of some long jackets on the inside to make them fit you snugly, and you use it like a drawstring to slowly slide the seat back up and down.

I really hope this makes sense to you.  I actually wish I could draw you a picture.  But that is not something I can do, so bear with me.

Okay, so great-grandparents leave for a walk with James.  I stay home reading, with A here playing Halo with his cousin.  Everything is nice and quiet, no issues, and we enjoy 20 minutes of talking and laughing at them blowing each other up.

The neighbors upstairs have grandchildren who come by to visit, and they'd been playing and yelling at one another as per usual.  I was sitting here listening to them when I heard a baby start to cry.  And I commented that the baby sounded like he was hurt.

And then I looked at A and said, "Is that my baby?"

He jumped up and looked out the window but couldn't see anything.

I meanwhile was pulling on slippers and repeatedly saying, "That's James.  I know that's my baby.  Where are they?"

I opened the front door and took 3 steps, finding myself face to face with them.

And the second he saw me, he took a deep breath and began crying again.  Which had me hurrying to pick him up.

Well, they had decided that after he began trying to sit up that they would let him.  After removing the carrier, they couldn't figure out how to get the bar off.  They managed to slide him under it and he laid there during the walk, looking around, and grabbing hold of the bar and pulling on it.

The problem came when they got back to our apartment.  They wanted to show us how he was doing in the stroller, but rather than call us out to them, they lifted the stroller up the 3 steps from the main path to our apartment's first floor, and set it down.

Somewhere in that lift, the seat, which they didn't realize wasn't secured because they didn't know how the stroller worked, jostled James.

And smacked his forehead into the bar that they hadn't known how to remove.

James had a small bump which was gone that evening, and I know I was worse off than he was, but I wouldn't let him go for the next hour he was awake.  Then it was nap time, and he slept on me so I could watch him more.

His great-grandparents couldn't stop apologizing.  I did the best I could to reassure them he was fine, let them know it wasn't his first bump and wouldn't be his last, and smiled as much as possible.

My husband got really quiet, and after they left he called his father to vent.  His big issue was that they hadn't asked what to do or how to do things, and that's all he would have wanted them to.


I was okay once James had calmed down.  And as I told the story to my mother-in-law that night I realized I was proud.

Because even in the middle of a conversation, with the television on and Halo noises blasting, and other kids playing and roughhousing, I heard that cry and knew it was my baby.  I couldn't see him out the window because they'd already come up the steps, but I knew it was him.

And I ran out that door to get to him.

I will always go running for him.

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